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Blog Archive

 

How are we preparing astronauts for a return to the Moon?

Tess Caswell • May 22, 2018

Returning to the Moon won’t be easy, even though we’ve been there before.

Mastcam-Z team blog: We've got flight hardware!

Elsa Jensen • May 21, 2018

Right after the last Mastcam-Z team meeting a year ago (link here to last two blog posts), our team finalized the design of the cameras, and then the fantastic voyage of creating Martian panoramic zoom cameras began.

Chang'e 4 relay satellite, Queqiao: A bridge between Earth and the mysterious lunar farside

Luyuan Xu • May 19, 2018

China's fourth lunar mission, Chang’e 4, is expected to begin on May 21 with the launch of a Long March 4C rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwest of China. The launch will carry a spacecraft named Queqiao, which will serve as a communication relay satellite between Earth and the lunar farside.

Eleven perijoves

Emily Lakdawalla • May 18, 2018

Seán Doran has made a cool visual index to the images that JunoCam took during Juno's first 12 closest approaches to Jupiter.

#Mercury2018: From MESSENGER to BepiColombo and beyond

Emily Lakdawalla • May 17, 2018

A Mercury meeting held May 1-3 summarized the current and future science of the innermost planet. Emily Lakdawalla was there and shares her notes.

Funpost! We both began to giggle like school children

Jason Davis • May 17, 2018

NASA astronaut Scott Tingle describes his first rocket launch.

Is NASA painting itself into a corner with its ISS transition plans?

Jason Davis • May 16, 2018

By 2025, NASA wants to create a new humans-in-LEO market, and then become the non-primary customer for that new market.

Fire at ISRO's Space Application Centre

Sandhya Ramesh • May 15, 2018

Two weeks ago, Indian media reported a fire at the Space Application Centre (SAC) of ISRO in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Although it was a big fire, it was in an isolated building and no spacecraft was damaged.

Juno meets Cassini: A new merged global map of Jupiter

Björn Jónsson • May 14, 2018

The Juno spacecraft that is currently orbiting Jupiter has obtained the first good images of Jupiter's polar regions. I am presenting here a combined global map of Jupiter, made from a Cassini map I made for the equatorial and temperate regions and polar maps made from the Juno JunoCam and JIRAM polar images.

Book Excerpt: The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the radioisotope power system works

Emily Lakdawalla • May 14, 2018

Readers, colleagues, friends: it's finally happened. My first book is finally out in the world. Here's an excerpt that explains the design and operation of Curiosity's MMRTG, (it also applies to the future Mars 2020 rover power supply).

An 'Exploration Exhibition' to launch the new Planetary Science Caucus

Casey Dreier • May 14, 2018

We helped launch the new Planetary Science Congressional Caucus in Washington, D.C., with an exploration exhibition to highlight the range of academic, scientific, and industry partners engaging in planetary exploration. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye and its Board of Directors were there to welcome members of Congress and hundreds of staff and policy experts.

LightSail 2 launch slips to Fall

Jason Davis • May 11, 2018

The second flight of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is now scheduled for no earlier than October 30, 2018.

Juno's 12th perijove in lifelike color

Emily Lakdawalla • May 11, 2018

With the help of some preprocessing of JunoCam images by Mattias Malmer, Don Davis shows us how Jupiter might have looked on April 1, 2018, if we'd been aboard Juno.

Funpost! Someone is stealing the Enterprise

Jason Davis • May 10, 2018

An appreciation for a scene from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

Philae science results: Comet 67P is crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside

Emily Lakdawalla • May 09, 2018

What is the surface of a comet like? That's one of the main questions that motivated Philae's mission to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. We now know the comet has a rigid crust about 10 to 50 centimeters thick, below which the comet is much more fluffy.

Refreshing the Viking Orbiter views of Mars

Justin Cowart • May 07, 2018

Justin Cowart reprocesses Viking Orbiter images from the 1970s and 1980s to reveal their unique and beautiful perspectives on the planet.

Go Atlas, go Centaur, go InSight!

Emily Lakdawalla • May 05, 2018

NASA’s next Mars mission launched successfully from Vandenberg Air Force Base today!

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Studies Mystery Rock, Mission Officials Seek 2019 Extension

A.J.S. Rayl • May 04, 2018

Opportunity spent April further exploring the area about halfway down Perseverance Valley, checking out unusual, vesicular or pitted rocks the likes of which she has never seen, while officials prepared the mission’s bid to keep the robot field geologist roving through 2019.

A brief history of Resource Prospector, NASA's cancelled lunar mission

Jason Davis • May 03, 2018

The mission survived NASA's Journey to Mars era, only to be axed once short-term goals shifted back to the Moon.

Funpost! Let's listen to some Russian space jams

Jason Davis • May 03, 2018

Two ISS cosmonauts remind us that feelin' it is not a crime.

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